Microsoft Provisioning Framework (MPF) provides the underlying framework for extensible provisioning services. It supports the development and management of a range of commercial services hosted on Microsoft Windows® operating systems. Using MPF, you can automate common tasks for commercial services, such as adding and deleting subscribers, changing user security settings, and simultaneously updating multiple data stores.
The Provisioning Manager component of MPF is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that provides the user interface (UI) for managing other MPF components. You can use this UI to manage components centrally, whether individual components are installed on a single computer or distributed across multiple computers.
You can use Provisioning Manager to manage the following:
MPF components reside on provisioning servers. Provisioning Manager supports the central administration of provisioning servers, including all transaction-processing, auditing, and error-recovery servers.
For more information, see Provisioning servers.
A namespace consists of a group of related XML-based provisioning procedures. Each namespace handles one or more XML requests. Some namespaces might include procedures that invoke a provider, which is a Component Object Model (COM) object that implements specific programs and services. Other namespaces can contain procedures that extend provisioning support by invoking lower-level procedures.
MPF provides preinstalled namespaces, including standard provider namespaces, that support a range of provisioning tasks involving other technologies, such as Active Directory® and SQL. You can customize most of these namespaces, as well as implement custom-built namespaces, to support almost any provisioning task.
For more information, see Namespaces, Procedures, Maintaining and updating namespaces and procedures, and Implementing custom providers and namespaces.
Execution of procedures might require privileges that users do not have. Using Provisioning Manager, you can specify credentials for accounts that do have the required privileges, and then configure individual procedures to execute using those credentials.
For more information, see Credentials.
Using Provisioning Manager, you can specify the properties and other options that control the behavior of provisioning components, including provisioning servers, namespaces and procedures, and credentials.
In addition to the components that you can manage with Provisioning Manager, MPF includes components that support additional provisioning functionality. These components include Resource Manager, which you can use to allocate provisioning resources, and tools for managing MPF from the command line.
For more information about Resource Manager, see Managing resources. For more information about command-line tools, see Managing Microsoft Provisioning Framework from the command line.